Stories about violence against women

Trivialising rape: A guide for the ‘enlightened’ elite

A 15-year-old girl was kidnapped, drugged and gang raped in a hotel on Mall Road, Lahore a few days ago. The rapists later texted the parents to come pick up their unconscious child from the hotel room. The girl was rushed to Services Hospital where initial medical examination revealed that she had been raped by six to eight men. Eight suspects have been arrested so far. The main accused, Mian Adnan Sanaullah, is the Additional Secretary General of PML-N Youth Wing. In addition to the usual sensational media coverage, shots of weeping parents played on a loop over cringe-worthy melodramatic music, ...

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Dear Bisma, you will be forgotten and there will be more like you

Dear Bisma, Although there is much uproar as to how tragically you passed away yesterday, it is unfortunate that in a few days’ time, this case, like every other, will be dusted under the carpet and forgotten as a new Bisma will come into being. It never stops. I hope wherever you are, there is justice. I am glad you do not have to grow up knowing that the lives of us citizens are not as important as security protocols. I am glad that you are not subjected to the violence you may have faced like more than three-fourths of our women do, or that ...

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Tortured, beaten and raped: Is sexual terrorism ever going to end?

It’s a matter of grave concern and great sadness that in the 21st century, despite all the world’s advances in technology, science, society and economics, violence against women remains endemic. In fact, one out of three women around the world is a victim of gender-based violence: domestic violence, sexual assault and rape, sexual harassment, honour killings and many other permutations of this crime play out in millions of homes, workplaces, streets, villages and cities in every part of the globe. Violence against girls and women is rightly called one of the greatest crimes against humanity, occurring across all nations and cultures, ...

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Ashraf Chaudhry, slut-shaming is not ‘freedom of speech’

A country must be a mother. No other person could suffer so much at your hands and still call you its own. We may call Pakistan our mother, we may respect it as if it was our mother, we may even love it like our mother but is there a place for mothers, sisters, and daughters in this Pakistan? Is there no country for women? We are quick to stand up in arms when the sanctity of our adopted mother is called into question. We are often told, “The sovereignty of Pakistan must come first.” There was a similar visceral reaction in Pakistan to the ...

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When a mother turns to her 17-year-old son for help in Pakistan

The perfectly starched lab coat hanging in my cupboard stared back at me. I was starting a summer internship at the Civil Hospital to see the inner workings of the field I aspire to pursue. And oh boy, I was motivated, now more than ever. This internship proved to be a great educational experience and opened my eyes to a side of the world I had been oblivious to before, leaving me with a story that I’m compelled to share today. A particular case struck a chord with me – one I may never forget. The patient, Shayan, was a boy of ...

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Where is India’s ‘landmark judgment’ on honour killing today?

In the spring of 2005, at the exotic valley of Karora village in Northern Haryana, when the sun had bid farewell and the full-moon accompanying with cluster of stars appeared in the darkness of the sphere, Manoj had fallen for Babli; a free-fall into the abyss, in love with Babli. On his first encounter with his lady love, he acted rude, for he had been a stoic his entire life; his friends had tagged him as ‘stone-hearted’. To Manoj, she was just another woman, but as time passed and seasons cycled, the cupid’s amour stroked Manoj’s young heart. It didn’t ...

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When did rape become the cure to homosexuality, India?

If you thought burning women, throwing acid on their faces, bombing their schools, shooting them for going to school, cutting their noses, shaving their heads, marrying them off to holy texts or animals/cattle, selling them into sex slavery or cutting their genitals off wasn’t bad enough when it came to violence against women, here is a brand new way of oppressing women and cementing patriarchy into its place. In India’s Telengana state, men who were ‘suffering from homosexuality’ are given a corrective measure. That measure is rape. Instances where cousins are betrothed from infancy/childhood/youth and if the male counterpart turns out ...

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A woman does not need a man’s protection

“Nobody is a monster that he is excluded from society. After all, any society that has these rapists has to take responsibility for them, and this is the first thing that these feminist callers that came before the Verma Committee said, that these are our people, these men are ours.”— Gopal Subramanium, senior advocate, Supreme Court India and co-author of the Verma Report I am not a rapist. I cannot even possibly conceive how a person could rape, assault, murder or even harass. So why did I feel guilty being a man watching the documentary India’s Daughter? This question has plagued my thoughts for ...

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NH10: A much needed eye-opener for patriarchal India

In the midst of increasing inter-cast marriages and prevailing women suppression, NH10 encourages India to plunge into liberalism and women empowerment. The movie is a superb attempt at addressing issues soaked in violence and injustice amongst the sexes. Anushka Sharma, after her girl-next-door roles, emerges as a revolutionary body in NH10, portraying a powerful woman who takes an initiative of saving her husband by fighting under adverse circumstances. There are astounding progressions in her character throughout the movie – from a modern corporate woman to a fearless fighter. NH10 opens with a vivid image of a lively couple Meera (Anushka) and Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) living in Delhi. After a ...

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Are women responsible for rape?

“You know I’d never wear something like that. It’s so… so inviting.” This was said with an air of such self-righteousness that I wanted to get up and say a prayer for this woman who thought she’s the epitome of piety and all things good. There have been numerous occasions when I have found myself fuming at such women (and men) who have taken it upon themselves to decide what women should and should not do. Often I am compelled to consider whether I am a feminist or not, which leads me to conclude that I possibly cannot be a feminist, for being one entails ...

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